Are marketers shortchanging product placement’s reach?

Discussion
Source: Netflix
Sep 29, 2022

Product placement is expected to see robust growth in coming years as audiences, particularly younger ones, ignore traditional advertising.

New research from PQ Media finds brands investing in product placement to reach younger consumers who are “more elusive, tech-savvy and averse to traditional media.”

A Sharethrough study found that 66 percent of overall TV viewers don’t actively watch commercials.

PQ Media identified other factors lifting global product placement spending ahead 12.3 percent to $22.93 billion in 2021, with expected growth of 14.3 percent in 2022.

Drivers include the proliferation of shows and movies being produced to support Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV and other streaming channels as well as opportunities with new mediums, including digital media (i.e., social media, influencer sites).

Virtual placement has been cited as a potential breakthrough. In May, Amazon introduced an AI-driven tool that enables producers to add, adjust or even switch out one brand for another in post-production.

PQ Media’s study also cited the “emotional connections” product placement can bring in linking a brand to a beloved character. Some notable private-placement successes include Reese’s Pieces in “E.T.,” Eggo Waffles in “Stranger Things,” and FedEx and Wilson in “Castaway.”

Challenges include making a product placement fit the narrative of the storyline and avoiding looking like blatant advertising, although brand integrations have long been improving. Recent research by Sortlist revealed that, on average, customers are being sold 12.61 products per movie without even noticing.

Another complication is that the majority of product placement in film and television is still done “quid-pro-quo,” according to The New York Times. For instance, cases of water may be donated to a set in hopes that one bottle appears in a scene.

The PQ Media study said paid placement “has grown substantially in number and value during the past several decades.”

Speaking to specialtyfood.com last year, Jessica Cohen, founder of a product placement agency, said paid placement gives a brand more control over how long their product is on screen and how it’s used. She added, “Sometimes it can seem forced, and it can be expensive, costing anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 per show. However, they are effective.”

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is product placement positioned to become a more frequent opportunity for brands or is it already being used too obtrusively? How would you rate the pros and cons of product placement?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"As long as it is done tastefully, product placement can come across as authentic and organic. And even sometimes critical to the story."
"I’m not a huge fan of product placement unless it is authentic to the content. Forced brand integration is very obvious to the consumer and clearly a pay for play."
"...with consumer shifts away from traditional radio and television, reaching customers means finding new ways to engage IRL."

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10 Comments on "Are marketers shortchanging product placement’s reach?"


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Michael La Kier
BrainTrust

Product placement was at the start of advertising and has always played an important role. As long as it is done tastefully, product placement can come across as authentic and organic. And even sometimes critical to the story. If you think about influencer marketing, to some extent it is just a new way to do product placement.

Bob Amster
BrainTrust

How many times do we watch a TV show or a movie in which the ubiquitous laptop computer is NOT a Macintosh? That is product placement at the highest level.

Jeff Weidauer
BrainTrust

As product placement use increases, the challenge will be telling the story without the brand taking creative control.

Lucille DeHart
BrainTrust

I’m not a huge fan of product placement unless it is authentic to the content. Forced brand integration is very obvious to the consumer and clearly a pay for play. It can work when it is seamlessly woven into the narrative and an extension of the characters and plot. The downside is when the writers create unexpected consequences for brands like “And Just Like That” and Peloton.

DeAnn Campbell
BrainTrust
Getting into a customer’s consideration set has always been challenging, but with consumer shifts away from traditional radio and television, reaching customers means finding new ways to engage IRL. New social media channels are emerging continuously and pop-up stores and event marketing have become important ways to connect with customers on their turf. This is an exciting chance for marketers to think well outside their traditional bag of tools, watch where customers spend their time and come up with new ways to signal their brand through empathy, humor and cultural relevance. Brands and retailers would do well to follow Coke’s lead in appointing a person or team to be a “brand historian” or “cultural expert” so as to maintain a library of past brand collateral to allow participation in shows set in earlier decades, and to keep their finger on the pulse of how consumers engage with media today to come up with new ways to show their product in a context that connects to consumers. Most importantly, companies like Netflix, HBO or Prime need… Read more »
David Spear
BrainTrust

Well timed and storyline appropriate product placement will always be extremely successful for brands. Over the last few years (with high influence from the pandemic), the massive shift to streaming has opened a huge opportunity for brands to find unique moments in scenes where product placement can augment a situation, a mood, a story. These can be incredibly powerful moments for brands, and I would encourage companies to look for these opportunities.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

I enjoy watching the battlefield of product placements and how it can motivate or disgust the customer. With the plethora of attempts to sell a product, brands and services in the battlefield, I fear it can turn into a blood bath for some items, annoying customers, which eventually leads to brain block of the product.

Rich Kizer
BrainTrust

One thing is important to consider: recognition of a brand isn’t selling a brand.

Ananda Chakravarty
BrainTrust

Product placement has been around since TV. Most marketers consider product placement in their marketing mix, but much of it depends on the type of product that’s being marketed. It’s much easier to place products that are usable household items or consumables than something more abstract like enterprise software (although you might be able to drive brand placement).

Product placement also usually comes at high cost and much of its success depends on a hit or miss of the underlying media where products are placed.

Brad Halverson
Guest

Product placement in shows like Stranger Things (photo) equaled 31 items in the first season, up to 100 in season three. The impact goes largely to the Gen Z audience who has created a social media frenzy around ’80s culture and the brands from the time period.

A recent classic car show in my town alone had new photographer/media attendees under the age of 25 taking pictures of entrant cars from the late ’70s/1980s — many are cars anyone over 50 would consider poorly made or boring. But that’s what got them interested in the event.

Some say placement is too forward. Others are fascinated by it. Ultimately the brands will determine if their products got the conversations, lift in key words, and metrics to decide healthy ROI.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"As long as it is done tastefully, product placement can come across as authentic and organic. And even sometimes critical to the story."
"I’m not a huge fan of product placement unless it is authentic to the content. Forced brand integration is very obvious to the consumer and clearly a pay for play."
"...with consumer shifts away from traditional radio and television, reaching customers means finding new ways to engage IRL."

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